Thursday’s beer from the other side of the world: Tusker Premium Lager

I’d never heard of Nairobi-based East Africa Breweries, and in truth I was ready to file their Tusker Premium Lager away as another pale, watery, borderline tasteless beer. Then I poured a glass.

The golden color, about two shades darker than what was expected, was the first surprise; the thick, pillowy head the second. Although the bottle makes no such claims, Tusker pours and presents like a pilsner. The flavor is maltier than a pils, however, with a substantial body that adds presence without reducing the beer’s quenching qualities, and the finish is dry with lingering grain notes.

If I could find it, I would order Tusker in a bar. Often. It is a very good beer.

We in the developed world sometimes take a biased or patronizing view of beers from developing countries. Even though the East Africa Brewery has been operating since 1922, they had to fight my tendency to view third world breweries as cold, profiteering organizations who brew for a customer base that doesn’t know anything about beer, and only buys for intoxication.

Hmm… maybe I should be aiming my preconceptions at St. Louis instead.

-Mark

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